India’s cricketing legend, Sunil Gavaskar, has expressed his belief that it is premature to discuss the inclusion of Virat Kohli in India’s 2024 T20 World Cup squad. Gavaskar emphasized that Kohli’s place should be determined based on his form during the upcoming edition of the IPL, rather than speculating too far in advance. After India’s disappointing performance in the 2022 T20 World Cup under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, rumours began circulating about potential changes to the T20I team, including the phasing out of both Sharma and Kohli. However, Kohli has been in outstanding form in T20 cricket in recent months, showcasing his exceptional talent.
During the IPL 2023, Kohli achieved a remarkable feat by hitting consecutive centuries, surpassing Chris Gayle’s record for the most IPL hundreds. He accumulated an impressive total of 639 runs in 14 matches, boasting an average of 53.25 and a strike rate of 139.82, including two centuries and six fifties. Evaluating Kohli’s current form, Gavaskar reiterated that the 34-year-old undeniably deserves a place in India’s T20I squad for the upcoming matches.
When asked about Kohli’s inclusion in the 2024 T20 World Cup squad, Gavaskar told Sports Tak, “The next T20 World Cup will be played in 2024. There will be another IPL before that in March-April. Kohli’s form should be observed at that point. There is no point talking about it now.” He further added that discussing selection for the World Cup squad should be based on the players’ performance in the IPL leading up to the event, which will take place in the West Indies and America.
Despite Kohli’s exceptional performances, his team, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, failed to qualify for the IPL 2023 playoffs, finishing sixth in the points table after a defeat against the Gujarat Titans in their final league game.
Gavaskar’s perspective highlights the importance of assessing players’ form closer to the tournament rather than making premature judgments. While Kohli’s recent displays have been outstanding, the ultimate decision regarding his inclusion in the 2024 T20 World Cup squad should be based on his form in the upcoming IPL. By adopting this approach, the Indian selectors can ensure that the squad comprises players who are in the best possible form and ready to compete at the highest level on the global stage.